Ross County vs. St Johnstone – Football Match Report – December 27, 2017
Ross County were unfortunate not to emerge with a first win since early November after an entertaining 1-1 draw with St Johnstone.
Owen Coyle’s side have picked up just three points from their last seven games, but had a host of chances to beat Saints at Dingwall.
Denny Johnstone had given the visitors an early lead, but after Alex Schalk equalised from the spot the Staggies passed up several guilt-edged chances and hit the post before being held to a point which nevertheless lifts them off bottom of the table.
Barely 90 seconds were on the clock when Saints took advantage of some slack defending to claim an early lead.
After winning a throw-in, the visitors worked the ball to Scott Tanser on the overlap and he swung in a fine cross to find Johnstone unmarked six yards out, and the striker had a simple header which he put through the legs of Scott Fox.
The goal stunned the Victoria Park crowd as Johnstone wheeled away to celebrate his second of the season, but the players soon regained their composure.
Captain Andrew Davies met a Chris Eagles corner at the far post and headed into the ground and seemingly into the top corner, only for Zander Clark – who had a fine game – to palm the ball away on the goal line.
Craig Curran drove an effort narrowly wide from 25 yards – though Clark will claim to have had it covered – as the Staggies tried to battle their way back into the contest late in the first half.
Steven MacLean saw a goal chalked off after turning in Michael O’Halloran’s cross from an offside position before the home side drew level after the break.
Eagles went on a jinking run outside the area and drew a rash challenge from Chris Millar just inside the box, leaving Greg Aitken with no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Schalk stepped up confidently to send the keeper the wrong way and give County a deserved leveller in the 53rd minute.
The game opened up after that, and Johnstone missed a golden chance to reclaim the lead minutes later after dithering before Fox saved at his feet and David Wotherspoon’s follow-up was blocked.
The Staggies gradually gained the upper-hand and somehow failed to hit the back of the net with 20 minutes to go as Jason Naismith was denied, before Schalk hit the post and Billy McKay was denied twice from six yards in a frantic scramble.
Davis Keillor-Dunn curled wide and then saw another effort well-saved as Coyle’s side were left frustrated and without a win since November 3.